While Chicago might be best known for its deep-dish pizza, there’s plenty more that this spectacular city has to offer. And when it comes to school field trips, there isn’t a better place to bring your students.
There are so many amazing activities available that are sure to entertain your students while also teaching them something new along the way.
Field trips are such an important part of school life, they allow your kids to see the real world, gives them something to look forward to, and can inspire them and fuel their passion for education.
So, you definitely want to make sure that you’re picking the right destinations for your field trips. Luckily, we’ve got all the inspiration that you’ll ever need. Check out our list of the best ideas for a Chicago field trip.
1. The Ledge
If you’re looking to really thrill your students and want to get the adrenaline pumping then The Ledge is a great place to take them…if you’re brave enough.
Everyone will get the chance to walk on a four-foot-wide glass-bottom balcony that hangs above the city at one hundred and three stories high. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart.
And don’t worry, if you have students afraid of heights they don’t have to join the experience, there are plenty of other options here such as the I Spy on High exhibit and the scavenger hunts.
This could be a great option if you want to give the students a chance to have a little fun, but it also works well as part of an architecture course, allowing students to see the city from the ultimate vantage point.
Oberweis is one of the most famous Ice Cream Shops in the entire midwest, so this tour is sure to go down a hit.
Most of them have probably already indulged in the delicious treats Oberweis offers, but how many can say that they were there to witness it being made?
A trip to the factory lets your students go behind the scenes to learn all about the process of ice cream being made, from the farm right the way to the factory.
This trip is super informative and students will learn a lot about agriculture and food production.
And they’re sure to keep their interest and be well-behaved to get that delightful ice cream reward at the end of the day – in all fairness, it is arguably the best bit.
What better way is there for your students to learn about the history of King Arthur than traveling back in time thanks to the Medieval Times shows?
These are so visual, exciting, and entertaining that your students will be sure to soak up the information like a sponge. It’s a much better way for the kids to learn about this time period than simply reading about it in a book.
Plus, if you book a matinee show as a field trip, you get a few extra perks that make a real day of the activity. Not only will you and the students get to watch daring jousting matches but they’ll also be served up a feast fit for a king!
An educational presentation will be shown after the 90-minute show that tests the knowledge of your students even further, and then once that’s done, they are rewarded with a four-course luncheon.
Now, I must admit, I am a real children’s museum enthusiast. Little kids love nothing more than being able to get hands-on, and this interactive museum allows exactly that.
There is so much going on at the Chicago Children’s Museum too – there’s no end to the things that they’ll be able to learn about.
Some of the exhibits include digging deep for dinosaur bones, as well as exploring a three-story boat.
These activities are all so much fun and the kids will be having such a blast that they don’t even realize that they’re learning. Which, really, is the best way to go about things.
Shakespeare will always be one of the greatest playwrights of all time – perhaps even the very best, certainly the most famous. And so it’s no wonder that his work is often taught in schools during English classes.
The only issue is that it can often be a little confusing for the kids to get their heads around. So what better way to help them make sense of the plays than taking them to see one?
The Shakespeare Theater is the best place for that. Bard’s plays come to life just in the way that Shakespeare would have intended and seeing it in person can help students to really understand the story.
Also, it’s also just an excellent watch and a really great day out – the perfect option for a field trip.
Chicago has some of the best architecture in the whole of the USA so architecture students will definitely get their fill of information on one of these boat tours.
Students will take to the waters in a spacious and comfortable boat and get the chance to see some of the best builds that the city has to offer. And your boat guide will also tell you some really interesting facts about them along the way too.
Plus, since you’ll board from the River Walk, you’ll get the chance to see there too. And let me tell you, that is a wonder to explore as well. The walkway has been recently renovated and there’s also the best gelato stand to try nearby while you wait too.
Zoos are great places to visit with students. Not only does it always excite those going, but it also offers plenty of great educational experiences too.
Students get the chance to learn more about the different species of animals, animal behavior, observation skills, and conservation status.
Sure, you could also go to Lincoln Park Zoo if that’s easier for you, but there seem to be a few better thrilling experiences for the students at Brookfield zoo, such as the walk-through monkey exhibit and the Bird Encounter exhibit where students will have the opportunity to hand-feed parakeets.
There isn’t a better place to take students studying science or astrology than to a planetarium. Students delve into an interactive and cinematic experience where they will learn tons of information about the sky, stars, and moon above them.
There are also a variety of different exhibits that range from the basics to the more intricate advancements of space so that it is suitable for all age groups.
The planetarium also offers dedicated times just for students so that they can get the staff’s undivided attention throughout their trip!
Another perfect science field trip is to go and visit the DNA Lab at The University of Notre Dam. Technically, this trip is actually in South Bend, Indiana but this is still a reasonable option for anyone picking a day-long trip from Chicago as it really isn’t all that far out.
And the only reason it is on the list is that it’s such a cool experience. Honestly, there’s nothing quite like it and it is sure to blow the minds of your students.
Your class will be able to extract their own DNA or alternatively learn all about forensics by solving a crime. A leprechaun has been kidnapped and it’s up to the kids to figure out the culprit!
This is one interactive and super fun biology lesson that you really don’t want to miss.
If you want to get into your students’ good books as coolest-teacher-ever, then this physics field trip is sure to keep your class reminiscing about the events for months afterward.
The students will take part in this STEM-enriched program where they will learn all about the physics of flying…or should I say skydiving.
Now, don’t worry, there’s no jumping out of planes, instead, they’ll learn all the flight training and then get the chance to simulate skydiving in the giant wind tunnel. Safe to say this is one of the most fun and thrilling ways to teach your kids all about the physics of flying.
Can you believe that with all these amazing opportunities, you’re still only skimming the surface of what Chicago has to offer in terms of field trips? I know.
As you can see, there are so many great opportunities to get your kids involved in something really exciting and fun that also teaches them valuable life skills and lessons along the way.
Other great options that didn’t make the top ten include the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust where students get to design their own house, the Museum of Science and Industry, the DuSable Museum of African American History, and the American Writers Museum!
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